English Premier League giants Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will send their academy teams to Singapore next month to compete in the Lion City Cup.
In a major coup for the competition as it returns to the footballing calendar, future stars from the Reds and Spurs will be on show at Singapore’s Jalan Besar Stadium.
The English clubs will take on under-15 and under-16 teams from the National Football Academy (NFA) in a four-team tournament held on August 14 and 16.
Liverpool in particular have an enormous following in Southeast Asia and Football Association of Singapore president Zainudin Nordin believes their participation will give the competition a significant boost.
“You look at the teams like Liverpool … they bring a big connection with the Barclays Premier League and its popularity,” Zainudin said.
“Also these young players aspire to play in the first team of their club, which means they will try to do their best in such a competition.
“So we may be able to see some of the future stars of Liverpool in this competition. If that happens, it will be wonderful.”
First held way back in 1977, the Lion City Cup has developed a reputation internationally as a breeding ground for future stars.
Juventus, Manchester City, Ajax and Newcastle United have previously taken part, while Brazilian outfit Corinthians took out the last edition in 2013, overcoming a field which included Arsenal, PSV Eindhoven and Eintracht Frankfurt.
The competition wasn’t held last year, partly due to a lack of a major sponsor, but it has roared back to life in 2015 and has once again attracted two of the major players in international football.
The draw was made in Singapore on Friday morning, with Spurs to take on the Singapore under-15 team first up on August 14 before Liverpool face the under-16 line-up later that night.
The two winning teams will then face off in the final, while there will also be a battle for third place.
Organisers of the tournament are confident the Lion City Cup once again has a bright future, with plans for it to return to its former six-team format from 2016 onwards.
“Things happen for a reason and that’s in the past,” said R Sasikumar, group chief executive of event organiser Red Card regarding the 2014 hiatus.
“Moving forward we want to showcase two really good teams this year and that will allow us to welcome the next couple of editions.
“We’re already talking to teams, getting dates ready and speaking to sponsors for next year.”
Tickets for this year’s Lion City Cup will go on sale on Tuesday, July 14. They can be purchased at www.globaltickets.sg, by calling +65 3152 9333 or at any AXS Station. They will also be available from Jalan Besar Stadium from Wednesday, July 15.comments